Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Like After Katrina, Outside Folks Getting the Disaster Contracts

The fine folk over at The Lens informed the citizenry today that "Gulf Coast states lag behind other states in getting contracts for oil disaster work." Only 12% of the $53.3 million in federal oil-spill related contracts have gone to Louisiana companies. Most of the rest of that has been contracted to companies in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Colorado -- not to other Gulf Coast states suffering the direct environmental and socioeconomic consequences of this disaster.

People in other states need work too, and it seems quite plausible to me that some of corporations best able to execute the particular terms of some contracts are not Gulf Coast business. Maybe many Gulf Coast businesses were already at full capacity due to having already received state or local contracts or contracts directly from BP to do disaster-related work.

My point is I just don't know enough about the details to know whether we're getting shafted down here in the federal contracting game for this disaster. I do know, based on past experience, that we need to dig deeper into this before it becomes like the Katrina recovery in which local workers were brazenly left out of the citizen driven recovery we were promised. That is, if it's not too late. I blogged about it on 9/16/2006, and I'm going to be quite pissed if this sort of thing is happening again...
The Army Corps, Bechtel and Halliburton are using the very same "contract vehicles" in the Gulf Coast as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity" open-ended "contingency" contracts that are being abused by the contractors on the Gulf Coast to squeeze out local companies. These are also "cost-plus" contracts that allow them to collect a profit on everything they spend, which is an incentive to overspend. [Corpwatch.org, 8/17/2006]

...and we were supposed to have learned our lesson so that our federal government could protect us from shady contract deals.

I hope that last part didn't make you laugh TOO HARD.

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